In this serialization, Base Ball Bear member Koide Yusuke
talks to his guests about idol music. In this final edition,
as per his strong request, we welcome a Japanese music industry legend!
Please enjoy this almost entirely uncut, one-and-a-half hour discussion of theirs.
Koide: I’ve been doing this serialization for around five years now, and ever since it first started I always hoped that for the final edition I could have you as my guest. Not only are you the person who made me get deeply hooked on idol music, I also greatly respect you as a songwriter, lyricist, and producer. I’d like to take this opportunity today to ask you about all kinds of things.
Tsunku♂: Let’s do this!
Koide: Next year, Morning Musume will be celebrating its 20th anniversary. That also means it has been 20 years since you first started doing producing work.
Tsunku♂: It might actually be closer to 21, if you count the auditions.
Koide: I once read somewhere that when the whole Morning Musume project started, the way you first envisioned it was that on New Year’s Eve of the year they released “Morning Coffee,” they would appear on Kouhaku Uta Gassen and break up right then and there, in spectacular fashion.
Henkka: This is a comic I translated a bit over a year ago. I felt like reposting it now to give it more visibility — I just love this kind of morbid humor. I had shivers running through my spine when I first saw the last panel.
I hope you all have a Christmas that is a little more merry than this comic.
A few days have passed since I posted the poll. The results are now in: Option 3 — the option of deleting some comments — seems like the clear winner.
Some of you would’ve rather had me continue to do nothing about the comments, and it seems that even some of the people who did vote for the deletion of certain comments saw it only as the least awful alternative, worried that it might change the comment section to something unrecognizable.
While I totally understand such misgivings, I do want to assure you that that’s neither what I want to happen or what I intend to do. In a way, a big part of me feels that nothing about the comment policy actually changes with this result. If you’ve ever read the site’s FAQ, you will have noticed that for a very long time it has already included this line in it:
“In short, just don’t be an idiot.”
This change will not affect 99% of you in any way. You will continue to never have your comments deleted. Feel free to post your silly, offbeat, questionable and controversial comments just as you have up until now. I’m not going to spell out what is and what isn’t acceptable, because again, 99% of the commenters here have no problem using common sense and figuring that out for themselves.
Hey guys. Let’s talk about the comments here on the site.
As I’m sure you’re aware, the comment policy on here always been pretty relaxed. For the most part, it’s worked out quite nicely over the site’s history. Around a year ago, however, I started noticing what I would describe as a clear dip in quality, so I asked you for your thoughts.
— We were introduced to you by Komuro Tetsuya, and so I wanted to begin by asking: how do you view him yourself?
Tsunku♂: His band TM NETWORK is very good at showing us listeners new things. It’s like they picked up right where YMO left off with techno pop, but there’s also a feeling that they’re creating something that’s completely original — it’s like they’re half a step ahead of everyone else with their music. When they first came out I remember thinking “wow, now that’s an amazing band.“
I couldn’t have ever imagined that he’d later go on to becoming the producer that he is today. Shinohara Ryoko’s “Itoshisa to Setsunasa to Kokoro Tsuyosa to” — how many copies did that sell again? Something like 2.2 million? When I saw that I was going “oh man, Komuro’s really made it big time now.” Before long, he’d become one of the greatest producers out there.
— Do you have any memorable Komuro episodes you could share?
Tsunku♂: We were both appearing on this TV show one time. Back then, we didn’t really pay much attention to the music charts and things like that. Komuro, though, was very particular about the charts. He was producing Kahala Tomomi, and she was very disappointed that she didn’t manage to hit no. 1 on the charts with her release at the time. I said to her, “So what even if you didn’t make it to no. 1? You still sold an insane amount of copies!” That’s when Komuro said to me: “You don’t get it, Tsunku♂. Girls want something that is easy to understand — something like being no. 1.” I thought, “Huh. I see. That may actually be true.” He had a point: I mean, what could be easier to understand than being no. 1? Ever since I heard him say that, I personally started paying more attention to the number of “1.”
Part Seven: “TOUCH ME, Kurokki”
Writers Yuzuki Asako and Asai Ryo
profile the lyrics of Hello! Project songs!
Song #1: Tsunku♂ – “TOUCH ME”
Yuzuki: The last time we spoke, our heads were in the clouds because of how excited we felt thanks to “Utakata Saturday Night.” But at some point, we came back to our senses and that excitement was once again replaced by this… emptiness.
Asai: Our hearts that had been taken with “Utakata” became quiet once more.
Yuzuki: But right around then, what took our hearts by storm next was Maa-chan’s sexiness in “Aishite Aishite Ato Ippun.” She was just so alluring there, it was almost suffocating.
Determined women have what it takes to make men get serious
When a person becomes truly determined about something, whether it be a sport or whatever else you can imagine, they reach a sort of place of enlightenment. People like that are easily able to go beyond what others might deem commonly accepted. I often unconsciously find myself greatly admiring people like that.
One example of such a person might be Taiyou to Ciscomoon’s Shinoda. I have no qualms about calling her a determined woman — hell, she’s an Olympic athlete! I’m sure even Utaban’s Taka-san and Nakai-kun would agree: Olympic athletes are a huge object of admiration for all people doing sports. Sure, even kids who can make it big in high school level baseball are already amazing, but the amazingness of these people is on a whole other level altogether. I have some sports experience myself: I did swimming and track-and-field. But even if I was the best of my school, becoming the no. 1 of the entire Osaka prefecture would’ve been completely unrealistic for me — to say nothing of being the no. 1 in Japan. That’s something too amazing for me to even properly visualize.
And when you’re representing an entire country in the Olympics, like Shinoda was, it isn’t enough for you to take part in the nationwide tournament or something and win once. You have to have maintained that average for years, and you have to remain in your peak condition for the Olympics, which only happen once every four years. In other words, you can’t be an Olympic athlete if you are unable to keep constantly working hard, constantly bringing in the results, and constantly being lucky. Not only was Shinoda able to do all that and become a representative of Japan, but she was also the ace of their team — she went even higher.
Let’s reconsider: is a height complex really something you need?
I wonder if it’s maybe all the recent trends among university and high school girls?
For a while now, much has been made of the so-called “selfishness” of young Japanese girls. Ordinary, everyday girls these days have become so much more plain-spoken than before. Everyone on TV is doing stories about them and how society as a whole seems to be delighted by them, so part of it may just be the girls responding to the demand and playing the part. Nevertheless, it feels like young girls have now managed to attain the right to be blunt. Go out to any of the popular spots around the city for young people to hang out and you’ll find them everywhere around you — girls acting all cynical and overly direct.
It’s actually because it’s that sort of a moment in time that small women are now in high demand!
There are many different types of men in the world. Lots of men will find these increasingly self-indulgent girls cute; guys who want to be at the mercy of their whims. On the opposite end, lots of men view their bluntness as tactless; guys who are just afraid of them. Part of it may be because some men simply feel small in our current society. Take someone who’s maybe hooked on anime; someone who thinks real women could never see them as a worthwhile partner — it’s no wonder people like that will shy away from women who strike them as especially strong. Not to mention if the woman in question is even taller than them! Women who are both big physically and act that way on the inside? For men like that, no matter which way they look at it, women like that will seem like too much for them to take on.